Critical Overview

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 154

When Brave New World was published in 1932 it sold well in England and modestly in the United States, but it eventually brought Huxley international fame on both sides of the Atlantic. It was clear to critics that Huxley had written a novel of ideas, in which the characters and...

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When Brave New World was published in 1932 it sold well in England and modestly in the United States, but it eventually brought Huxley international fame on both sides of the Atlantic. It was clear to critics that Huxley had written a novel of ideas, in which the characters and plot were not as well-developed as the book’s themes, which bring up many important concepts, from freedom to class structure. Huxley used humor and satire to point out the excesses and shallowness of contemporary culture.

Today, Brave New World is considered an archetypical dystopian novel portraying a seemingly utopian world that is, upon closer inspection, a horror. Critics generally agree that while Huxley was not a particularly innovative writer, his ideas were provocative and fresh and his writing eloquent. He was appreciated for both his analysis of post-World War I English life and, on a larger scale, his promotion of humanistic values through literature.

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Essays and Criticism